news center

Missile defence test hit by software bug

Missile defence test hit by software bug

作者:蒯遥  时间:2019-03-06 07:10:00  人气:

By Jeff Hecht A software glitch has left the Pentagon waiting for data on the missile defence test that destroyed a dummy warhead on 15 July. The glitch affected a sophisticated new radar system built by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization on Kjawalien Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The radar succeeded in identifying and tracking the dummy target, and guiding the interceptor that hit it. However, it was not able to assess what happened immediately after the impact. The radar was designed to help identify and destroy targets in the missile defence tests. “We wanted to see if we could use it for hit assessment,” but that was not a prime mission, Lt Colonel Rick Lehner of BMDO told New Scientist. The radar was supposed to switch automatically into a different operating mode at the time of the impact, so it could monitor an expanding cloud of debris instead of tracking and guiding. Raytheon, which built the radar, believes something went wrong with the software that was supposed to make the switch. The radar recorded the raw data, which is now being processed for later analysis. “It can process the information okay, but it has to be told how to do it better,” Lehner said. So far, he added, “Everything else seems to have worked as designed.” The failure might be significant if it reflected the radar’s inability to deal with clutter, such as chaff deployed to hide a potential target, says Bob Sherman, an analyst for the Federation of American Scientists. However, he cautions,”we don’t know that yet” because testing has only begun,